News Release

Northampton Family History Centre Open Day

After many months of planning, the Family History Centre of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on harlestone Road held an Open Day on 3rd March where around 275 people came through the doors to pursue this popular hobby.  The Mayor of Northampton, Jamie Lane and Mayoress Victoria McKee, were in attendance for the popular free event which was attended by around 200 non members.

Presentations were given on 20th Century Records and Military Records. There were sessions for beginners to family history as well as how to use DNA in family history research. Other local organisations invited to the event to display and offer advice were the Northamptonshire Family History Society, Heritage Hunters and The Geologist.   For the first time Indexing was demonstrated, which is a simple process whereby volunteers transcribe records into electronic format, making those records available over the Internet.

The Family History Centre in Northampton has been growing in popularity over the years and now runs computer classes for beginners to enable them to access the newly digitized 3.1 billion records held by the Church.  The Open Days have been such a success in bringing people into the centre it was decided to hold one every other year. 

Vic and Janet Coster, residents of Kingsthorpe, Northampton commented: “We have been using the facilities at the Family History Centre for over ten years, and thanks to the help we have been given by the staff during that time, and as a result of a lot of hard work, we have succeeded in identifying no less than 2,500 of our ancestors worldwide”.  The Coster family tree chart was displayed at the Open Day, taking up the full width of a 15 metre stage!

Other comments from local residents included, Mrs Jadzia Butcher, from Hanslope near Milton Keynes who stated: “I’ve been using the facilities at the Family History Centre for over a year now researching my Polish ancestors.  Although the research is made particularly difficult by being in a country with an unsettled political past, l could definitely not have achieved all that l have done without the resources and help available at the Family History Centre”.

Steve & Jan Hough, Directors of the Family History Centre, and residents of Wellingborough, thank all those who supported the Open Day, and emphasise that the Family History Centre provides free access to records worldwide, and to increasing volumes of Parish Records that are being made available through the Indexing programme over the Internet and accessed through websites that are free of charge to at the Centre.

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